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Report: Vara Lakshmi Vratam

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Divine Life Society of South Africa observed the auspicious Varalakshmi Vratam on Friday, 25 August 2023 at Sivanandashram, Reservoir Hills. Ganga Arati commenced at 5.30pm, followed by Satsang. The programme comprised Kirtans and Bhajans in praise of the Divine Mother and a reading on Mother Lakshmi from Yoga Lessons for Children (Volume 1) by Sri Swami Sivananda.

The Divine Master says, "The Vedas describe Mother Lakshmi as the Goddess of riches. God now manifests in the form of wealth. There is material wealth as well as spiritual wealth. Mother Lakshmi provides us with both, but many people think of Her as a symbol of material wealth only; and it is true that She will grant us this if we so desire. But on the spiritual path, we pray to the Divine Mother for something lasting, something more precious – it is the divine spiritual wealth of God.

"Mother Lakshmi also gives joy. She makes life on earth bearable. Without Her, life on earth would be a journey of pain and suffering.

"She appears to the world as a Goddess of peace. When we pray to Her, there is peace in the universe – peace among nations and mankind, and freedom from conflict and wars. The Divine Mother takes care of the welfare of Her children and blesses the world with good health".

With regard to the virtues required during worship, and the relevance and importance of worship of Mother Lakshmi, Swami Sivananda says, "Every home is the dwelling-place of Mother Lakshmi. At sunset, when the lamps are lit, we pray to Her and ask Her to bless our homes. To earn the blessings of Mother Lakshmi we have to pay attention to three important aspects of our life at home. These are cleanliness, hospitality, and charity. If we practise these virtues, we will obtain the Grace of Mother Lakshmi in abundance and will never suffer from any want.

"The Mother is pleased with a home that is spotlessly clean. She blesses such homes with Her Presence. She is not present in homes that are kept untidy and unkempt. So, we should learn to take very great care of the material things which she represents and has given us.
"Hospitality is ingrained in the Hindu heart. No other nation can equal us in this respect. Indeed, hospitality is the pride and glory of Hindu homes. When a guest comes to our home, we entertain him with all love and affection, looking upon him as Lord Narayana Himself. In some parts of India, a householder will not take his meals without first seeking out a beggar, bringing him home, worshipping him and feeding him".

The Master always implored us devotees to aspire to higher qualities. He says, "The higher nature of the Mother is really spiritual wealth – a pure heart, sweetness of manners, behaviour and speech, service to the Guru, etc. Pray to the Mother to grant you the divine spiritual wealth instead of material things. You will then enjoy everlasting peace and happiness".

The Master's potent advice must act as the cornerstones of all our spiritual endeavours. He encouraged us to "Pray to Mother Lakshmi for wealth that is everlasting - the spiritual wealth of devotion, love, purity, courage and divine knowledge".

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